“One of my challenges [as a writer] is to make sure that I’m giving the reader details that the character cares about rather than details that I care about. I’d say that’s key to world-building.” ― Jessica Andersen
Note that everything in world building is interconnected. Some of these articles will relate heavily with creating your world’s cultures, which we will dive into next week. Also, some of these articles may not relate to what you’re working on, and it’s okay to skip those that don’t.
1.) Setting and Worldbuilding – by Kaitlin Hillerich
2.) World Building: Part 1- Physical Setting – by Writers in the Storm
3.) Habitable Atmospheres for Authors – by Dan Koboldt (Good for Sci-Fi writers.)
4.) Questions to Ask When Creating Fictional Cities – by Melissa Gravitis
5.) Thinking About Food in Fantasy – by Victoria Hooper
6.) Five Underplayed Commodities for Kingdoms to Fight Over – by Oren Ashkenazi
7.) Five Plausible Scenarios for Planetary Evacuation – by Oren Ashkenazi (Good for Sci-Fi writers.)
8.) Physical and Historical Features – by Patricia C. Wrede (Concentrate on the physical world building this week as we’ll take a look at your world history next week along with your world’s culture.)
Map making is not as hard as you think it is! So don’t miss out on reading these articles.
1.) Do What Tolkien Did (But Not What You Think He Did) – by Tineke Bryson
2.) How To Draw A World Map – by Jonathan (Explains more than just how to make a map, but also the way geography works, which is essential to world building.)
3.) Make a Perfect Fantasy World Map With Macaroni! – By Emily Asher-Perrin (Note there is a lot of swearing in this, but if you want to pretend you’re a kid again, this is lots of fun! The Fantasy Map Examples below includes a slightly different version of this tutorial and has no swearing, if that bothers you.)
4.) Fantasy Map Examples – by Anna Jordan Draves (Examples of the tutorials above. Map making really isn’t all that hard!)
Narrow down the scope of your world for this assignment. For example, think about one specific town or region, rather than the entire country. It’s okay if you don’t have all the answers yet. Just write down what you know now and keep these questions in the back of your mind for more answers later.
1.) Food is probably one of the most important things in your world. What do your characters eat? What is grown near them? What is imported? What is considered a delicacy? By the poor? The rich? What do other creatures eat (Aliens? Unicorns?…) and remember that people like elves and dwarves won’t eat the same foods, and also won’t live in the same areas, though if they do in your world, why is that? What is considered travel food? Why?
2.) Natural resources and imported resources beyond food: List three of each for a specific area of your world. And explain why – how does the region support these natural resources? (Are there vast forests for wood?) How does travel support the use of your specific imported resources? (ships? trucks?) What resources are exported? Are there any natural resources that are NOT exported? Why?
3.) Using either map tutorial, draw a basic map of your world. It’s okay if you don’t know much about your place yet. This could give you some ideas to work with.